I'm unsurprised. the NHS sucks for non emergency care and consistency of knowledge.
Sounds much like my experience with my stomach issues - I think I went back to the doctors maybe 4 or 5 times with stomach pains before the doc actually, you know, felt my abdomen to check for anything untoward..... It's like they don't want to touch people anymore, or do anything really other than throw pills at you....
For the record, since I just know people are going to complain that "this is what the US wants?!": the exact same thing happened to my mother this summer: she fell in (I think) July, and would still be undergoing wait-and-see treatment for cellulitis if she hadn't been hospitalized (read: dragged by me to the ER) for an allergic reaction to the doc's first-try antibiotic. Four months later, she still hasn't gotten the follow-ups she was supposed to. AND SHE PAYS ABOUT US$1,000 A MONTH FOR HEALTH INSURANCE.
All of that said, I do hope your knee feels better soon, and that you were/are able to articulate your needs until someone took them seriously. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you. :-)
Edited at 2009-11-25 11:31 pm (UTC)
If I'm to be absolutely fair, they're only like this for elective non-urgent stuff. In A+E (ER/trauma) and for acute patients, they're absolutely the best in the world... and the only thing I've paid for is about £8 for four week's supply of donkey-strength anti-inflamatories.
My asked me if I was on my period on Tuesday night.
I could forgive him not remembering the urgent gynae referral nearly a year before but not the conversation we'd had just two weeks before.
"I'm not ... but ask me again and I'll behave like I am"
This sounds all too familiar.
Unfortunately unless you
a) have all day to call and harass the doctors
b) have something interesting
The doctors can't push you through the system as fast as you'd like.
BUT if it's interfering with your work / ability to look after your self / home TELL THE DOCTOR. This wee factor pushes you through much faster than if you're curled up in agony just complaining of the pain.
Have they done the magical "tell you to loose weight" yet? This always comes up. Even I've had it (by a doctor who didn't even weigh me) and I'm still classed as under weight for my height.
I've long since developed techniques to get on with things when the knee is being bad.
I predictied that the "lose weight" conversation would take place much earlier than it did -- in fact it happened on the third visit, somewhat defused by the fact that I knew more-or-less exactly what my weight was before he weighed me, and the fact that I know rather more about nutrition and how to cook than he does. And probably weigh an ounce or two less.
Interestingly, my cat had a whole range of blood tests yesterday and I waited for the results which came out in about 30 minutes. However there were £££ involved.
Good luck with it. Baz did something similar in September and finally went to the doctor this week. He's been recommended to use a tubular bandage but other than that, no treatment. I say this to assure that not all persistent knee problems require major surgery. Hope you are ok.
I'll be very careful not to drive any tanks through the streets of Edinburgh. I think Julia must be better at nagging than you are.
I had some fun and games getting my shoulder sorted out until I gave up on the NHS and went private.
The doctor did at least examine my shoulder at the start, prescribed NSAID's which didn't help. Examined it again, gave me a steroid injection (in the wrong place!!!). Third examination he gave me monster strength NSAIDS's and another steroid injection (in the wrong place also) which resulted in my passing out from him repeatedly trying to get the needle in the right place. Finally I demanded a referral to a specialist who took and x-ray and confirmed it wasn't arthritis and referred me to a physio.
When I had problems with my back a few years ago I went to the hospital in Ascot (it was a Sunday and I couldn't bend). The doctor at the hospital was lovely, examined my back and told me it was an aggravated disc that had most likely slipped and then slipped back. He also noticed the congenital defect I have and spotted that I had scoliosis, gave me pills and told me to go back to my GP in a week if it wasn't any better. I went to see my GP and without reading my notes, asking where in my back the pain was or even looking at my back diagnosed me with old age and obesity (I was at the time 25-26 and a good few stone lighter than I am now).
It's not all bad in the NHS I developed shoulder pains in August and went to see my GP after about 6 weeks when it hadn't cleared up. I was seen by the physio within 10 days and have appointments every 2 weeks since then.